The convalesence conspiracy

I can tell. You’re wondering. Didn’t Bournemouth used to have some chap making very daft synthesiser-and-horns music a long time ago? Whatever happened to him, eh?

Funny. The summer’s not been THAT long. Though it seems it. It seems here to still be some surreal daydream. And has much moved on since last I reported in that I was enjoying pootling about in shorts and sunnies?

Well, now. Cuh. Eh?


..Going anywhere nice on your hols this year?

OH ALL RIGHT. No, there’s not a lot I can really actually point you at yet. But essentially, you need to know that my apparent vanishing from the outside world and everyone’s schedule is for a very good reason. Namely: I have barely left the studio since early June.

You want more. I can tell. Which is sweet of you to show an interest, I should point out.

I haven’t left the studio since early June because of an interesting coincidence of things. As you may know, I managed to organise a wriggle-free from Momo’s schedule of sensible and not-so sensible creative work for a couple of blessed weeks in the spring to steal some sun with the lovely first lady of Momo. That we then inexplicably returned to some six weeks of proper sunshine here at home is an even bigger blessing than you might imagine for an English couple because my long-suffering wife was scheduled to pay a visit to hospital. ..Not for the frightening serving up of a sudden piccolo Momo, you understand, but for something rather more absurd sounding for a still bracingly youthful woman – a hip replacement.

Yes. An actual titanium-steel-and-polyethylene full bionic re-imagining of an important bit of her skeleton. Which she doesn’t mind me saying. Despite the way I say these things.

She was, you might imagine, the youngest poor thing in the bionics department of the Royal Bomo – and perhaps as a vigorous result was let out 24 hours early. Not scaring the trousers off her unprepared hastily-making-phonecalls-and-asking-for-deposits-back husband, you understand. Not at all.

The truth is, such things – when they go well – seem nothing but a delirious miracle, when handed to you. As mixed an experience as something as vastly complex as the NHS will give you, I dare you to suggest to me the intention of the thing isn’t the work of a generous God on Earth. Because I might give you sudden sharp reason to see just what they can do for you out of hours. Britain fixes thousands of people a year who couldn’t possibly afford to be fixed and get their lives back in some fashion without care and expertise that’s free at the point of delivery. Or stitching. Or grafting. Or replacing. Or whatever the procedure might be. And I say this knowing personally what cock-ups can manifest in the NHS. The blessings and the curses of your average hospital in the UK are always about life and death. And I’m profoundly grateful to have one at the bottom of my hill.

So Mrs Peach was ejected by the especially nice people at the Derwent suite into a spell of summer weather that has had her on her terrace in her borrowed granny chair every day for almost a month and a half since, a bit bewildered by feeling her life changing for the motilitous better. While her husband has been doing something at least as important as healing.

Filling in the blanks of his new LP.

The sojourn in Greece turned out to be a crucial one for Momo:tempo’s eagerly/disbelievingly-awaited follow up to 2010’s The Golden Age Of Exploration. Finding a regular café on the waterfront at Plakias, I wrung out the sketchbook and finally found key bits that had long been stubbornly missing from rather important-seeming bits of the album. Chorus lyrics, verse lyrics, arrangement directions. As much as I thought I knew the new LP, it turns out I had a lot of it to get to know before any hope of introducing it to the family without embarrassment.

So what DO we know now?

For the sake of reference, I can refer to the album as Codename Funkasino. Which isn’t it’s name. It feels like it’s actual name, but isn’t. Because it’s probably rubbish. But betrays the accurate fact that the original inspiration in it was to take some gambling phrases and make songs out of them that sound like something out of Oceans 11. Hence titles like Nudge.

However, much as I love the creative near-genius of David Holmes, I don’t love casinos. At all. So I didn’t really want to find an editorial reason to live in the world of them for years of my life. Cherries are for bakewells only, mate.

What I did very much love the idea of is the phrase I’ve had mentally postered over my desk for the past three years: Electro-Funk Filmscore. Which, be honest, sounds like the sexiest bit of musical damned-coolery imaginable. It does. If you’re thinking about it properly.

Is that what the new Momo:tempo LP is going to sound like? ..Perhaps. A bit. ..Perhaps rather more than a bit. But the key factor in any Momo:tempo record is, remember, me. So the idea of anything truly cool making it through the process undiluted is slim. So don’t get over excited.

But, it IS on it’s way. And it IS… fun. The way I’ve described it to some folks is: “Momo, only more so.” A mix of beats, horns, synths, strings and my damnably oafish voice, in various time sigs and wonky changes of pace. Though mostly, to be fair, the pace is brisk. And, in a perhaps more than few places, camp. Damned camp.

Not least of which is the impending new single. The revelation of which to me on holiday was sort of disappointing – I’d hoped it would be cooler. But no. Not a more credible follow up to Undo, but a, ah, more Sixties Spy Cabaret follow up to it. ..You’ll know it when you hear it, trust me.

I can reveal that that new single is to be called Conspiracy and also reveal that it is no revelation whatsoever that it is as likely to sell any copies in the commercial market place as a bloke selling straw roofing in Pompeii in 79AD. I can also reveal that I completely love it. And am fully prepared to enjoy a life of loving it entirely alone.

We’re aiming to have it out on an EP in October, at the launch of which we will… announce the launch date of Codename Funkasino.

Meanwhile, with almost everything written, August is the month of sessions. The good man Hayes – he of the slide expertise from the Electro Pops Orchestra – has already scored out many of the parts for the horns chaps, with Mssrs Fowler and Ruff booked in to join him for a long ol’ blow next week. While the good Mr ‘skins’ Adkins and Mr ‘sweet strings’ Marshall are hovering to groove into various tracks with artful beats and wacka-chakka respectively. Mr Rice from esteemed beat outfit The Seventynine is due on a couple of Cool Lead Guitar-needing pieces, while Mr Whitfield has no idea yet that his inbox is about to be stuffed with violin parts. The room-rejuvinating Ms Evans off of the art is also lending her female equivalent of my posh vocals to a piece or two. It is to be quite a party of talent.

Which means I have plenty more of not being around and a number of folks wondering where the hell I am to be getting on with yet. But, if nothing else, Momo’s weird daydream summer so far has at least provided the lovely first lady of Momo with an unusual convalescence. Or motivation to get back to work all too soon.

Will keep you posted.

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